I’ve done the bulk of my traveling in Europe, especially as an abroad student. So I’m familiar with European and Mediterranean climates and cultures. But one place that I ache to return to and continue exploring is Costa Rica.
We landed in the busy city of San Jose where we planned to stay overnight before traveling down to Uvita. Once leaving the air-conditioned airport, I was hit by the heat and humidity of Costa Rica’s tropical environment. It reminded me just how vast and diverse the world was compared to my other travels. But I was also struck by the familiar sense of wonder as I took in the sights around me.
When we reached our lodging, we prepared ourselves for a night out in the city before a long drive the next day south to Uvita. Due to our limited time spent in San Jose, we, unfortunately, didn’t get to explore any landmarks or historical parts of the city. However, we did get a taste of authentic Costa Rican food at a small, locally-owned restaurant before heading to a nearby bar for drinks and dancing.
Check out Storyteller Emmy's article about Gallo Pinto, a traditional Central American dish popular in Costa Rica.
We drove down the western coast to Uvita which took us about 4 hours. During our time in San Jose, we stayed with a friend who drove us to our next stop. However, there are other ways to get there. You can take a shuttle or fly to Palmar Sur which suits about 45 minutes away from Uvita. Before making the trek, we stopped at Parque Nacional Volcan Irazu to see the active volcano just outside the main city.
Compared to the lush greenery all over the country, the Irazu volcano was dry and dusty with little foliage sprouting from the ground. It is best known for the green crater lake located below.
We stayed in Rachos Remos Lodge, a privately-owned hotel with bungalows on the mountainside, a ten-minute drive from Uvita Beach. We had amazing views of the Pacific from our bungalow as well as the main dining space. We spent our first evening on the beach located just across the street from the lodge.
The next morning, we enjoyed the views from the main dining space while enjoying a light, and refreshing breakfast. We were also greeted by a small lizard who curiously approached our table before scuttling away.
We then started the trek to Uvita Beach, also known as whale tail beach. It gets its name from the formation of rocks in the shape of a whale’s tail. The shoreline is sandwiched between lush greenery and palm trees and the Pacific Ocean, which means there is something to see in every direction. The warm water was crystal clear making it easy to spy the occasional school of fish passing by.
That evening was spent with a full belly and plenty of entertainment at a local event we found. It seemed to be hosted entirely by the local community with vendors featuring authentic Costa Rican eats, Latin music, and dancing.
A quick tip! I encourage you to explore the streets of Uvita. It’s a great way to meet locals and learn about activities or other hidden wonders. During our stay, we managed to catch a seat at a local bull-riding event.
There is so much to see in Costa Rica! Learn more about traveling this country from our other Storytellers!
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